Invest, don’t waste
It’s easy to just “do what I did last time” or to “do what Cheryl did” when you have a meeting role. However, that’s wasting an opportunity to learn and to build expertise. Why spend time on reciting when you can invest time in skill building?
The Competent Leadership manual discusses ten areas of leadership. Each area (called projects in the manual) opens with a discussion of one talent, and then describes how to build expertise using meeting roles.
We can invest our time by reading the discussion, considering what we are trying to learn and then reflecting on the feedback we receive on our performance.
The ten projects are: Listening, Critical Thinking, Giving Feedback, Time Management, Planning and Implementation, Organization and Delegation, Facilitation, Motivation, Mentoring and Team Building.
Within each of these projects specific roles are used to grow specific skills. Feedback should be specific and guided – like a mini speech evaluation.
Some members of our club, and a lot of members from other clubs we’ve visited, prepare for their meeting roles by skimming or re-reading the project information and role-evaluation and reading their evaluations from previous experiences in the role or in the project. This typically takes about five minutes for experienced Toastmasters.
The member arrives prepared to perform the duties of the role and ready to learn and improve; a good investment of five minutes.
Ah Counter – build expertise in the Listening project.
Timer – build expertise in the Time Management project
Table Topics Speaker – build expertise in the Listening project.
Speech Evaluator – build expertise in the Listening, Critical Thinking, Giving Feedback, and Motivation projects.
Topics Master – build expertise in the Time Management, Planning and Implementation, and Facilitation projects.
Grammarian – build expertise in the Listening, Critical Thinking, Giving Feedback and Time Management projects.
“A Toastmaster Wears Many Hats,” available from Toastmasters International, provides a different perspective on each meeting role. A quick skim of the role’s expectations and value invests another minute or two, for exceptional ROI (Return On Investment).
Don’t spend time “going through the motions;” instead, invest time in honing your speaking and leading skills.